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Using spreadsheets

From: Computer Literacy for the Mac

Video: Using spreadsheets

Another piece of software you mind find yourself using fairly frequently is a spreadsheet application. I currently have Microsoft Excel open. It's arguably the most popular and well-known spreadsheet program out there. Apple also has a spreadsheet program called Numbers, which is part of their iWork Suite of Applications. At its most basic level, a spreadsheet is the electronic equivalent of a paper ledger sheet. Like ledgers, spreadsheets are comprised of a grid of rows and columns, and can be used for balancing your checkbook, calculating loans, managing the addresses and contact information of customers, and so on.

Using spreadsheets

Another piece of software you mind find yourself using fairly frequently is a spreadsheet application. I currently have Microsoft Excel open. It's arguably the most popular and well-known spreadsheet program out there. Apple also has a spreadsheet program called Numbers, which is part of their iWork Suite of Applications. At its most basic level, a spreadsheet is the electronic equivalent of a paper ledger sheet. Like ledgers, spreadsheets are comprised of a grid of rows and columns, and can be used for balancing your checkbook, calculating loans, managing the addresses and contact information of customers, and so on.

One of the advantages of spreadsheet programs is that they can quickly perform complex calculations once you've set them up to do so. For example, here in Excel, I'm going to choose File > Project Gallery, to browse through some of the pre-made templates and spreadsheets in Excel. I'm going to go into Home Essentials > Finance tools, and in here, I'm going to select the Standard Loan Analysis, and click Open. Expand the window a bit, and I'm going to increase the magnification, so we can see this a little bit better.

So this is a pre-made worksheet to help you figure out how much a loan will end up costing you. In this case, all you have to do is plug in your own numbers under this Analysis area on the right. So for instance, maybe I'm looking at a loan amount of say $75,000, at a rate of 3.9%, and we'll keep it over 3 years, and we'll say that the loan starts on October 1. Let's make that 2010. As you probably noticed, as I typed each value, the entire worksheet updates itself to reflect the numbers I've entered.

This is a great way to see how much your monthly payments will be at various interest rates, and how much you'll end up paying over the life of the loan. In this case, it's calculated that I'm going to pay about $4,500 in finance charges, to a total cost of $79,594.71. Now, this is a highly formatted and stylized spreadsheet. In many cases, you probably won't create something just to elaborate for yourself, but let's use this Amortization Table down here, and we'll go over some basic terminology concerning spreadsheets. Now, as I mentioned, in a spreadsheet, you have columns and rows.

Columns are vertical. These are columns here. And they're designated by letters, as you see going across the top of the spreadsheet. So what happens if you run out of letters for columns? Well, if you have more than 26 columns, they're designated with double letters then. So after you hit Z, the next columns will be AA, BB, CC, and so on. Usually though, you'll create your own more meaningful headers for your columns, like we have in this worksheet, like Payment Date, Beginning Balance, Interest, Principle, and so on. Now, rows are horizontal, and they're designated by numbers.

In this case, the rows are used to show the data for each monthly payment on the loan. Now, the point where rows and columns meet are called cells. Cells are referred to according to their column letter and row number. So this particular cell I just clicked is cell F28, and this one here is G38. It's the cells into which you enter your data. The data you enter into the cells can be numbers, letters, special characters, or any combination of those, or the cells can automatically populate themselves if you apply formulas to them.

That's pretty much how the cells in this particular table work. Their contents are automatically determined and updated based on the numbers you enter into the yellow cells at the top of the worksheet. So if this became a $60,000 loan, you could change that. You can see all the other cells in here have updated themselves. Okay. So that's a brief introduction to what spreadsheets are, and what they can be used for.

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This video is part of

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Computer Literacy for the Mac

55 video lessons · 24221 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
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  1. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 7s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 51s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 49s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 59s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 17s
  3. 20m 58s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 49s
    3. Understanding your home folder (your user folder)
      5m 21s
    4. Using your desktop
      3m 11s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      2m 21s
    6. The right click
      2m 13s
  4. 24m 8s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 24s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 10s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 44s
    4. How to learn any application
      3m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      6m 57s
  5. 36m 22s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 59s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 7s
    3. Printing your documents
      4m 30s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 27s
    5. Scanning a document
      6m 15s
    6. Setting up a projector or second monitor
      5m 56s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 53s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 32s
  6. 17m 27s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired network
      2m 36s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      4m 4s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      6m 15s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      1m 34s
  7. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      2m 21s
    4. Composing new email messages
      5m 52s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 11s
    6. Dealing with spam
      2m 41s
  8. 8m 24s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 51s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 9s
  9. 24m 21s
    1. Using word processors
      4m 22s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 7s
    3. Using spreadsheets
      3m 36s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      7m 37s
    5. Formatting a data table
      1m 39s
  10. 18m 53s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      4m 46s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      5m 11s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      4m 10s
    4. Tagging images
      2m 32s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 10m 52s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      5m 35s
    3. Compressing files
      3m 40s
  12. 1m 3s
    1. What's next?
      1m 3s

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